While Tuesday evening’s Amber Alert took place during normal daylight hours and not in the middle of the night as it has in past cases, it still caused a ton of people to complain about the public alert system, though not for the usual reasons.
While some have been quick to complain about the blaring, unignorable sound — which is designed that way for a reason, of course — waking them up from sleep or scaring the heck out of them before, this time, people are bringing up a different issue: the fact that the bulletin did not include enough detail to help locate the missing child.
And contains a broken link that goes nowhere. They really need to fix this system.
— Kristina Formosi (@KFormosi) August 2, 2022
Though the alert identified by name an 11-year-old that was missing and stated that she was last seen in Stratford, Ontario, it included no physical description of the girl or what she was wearing at the time that could help people spot her.
It also included a link to a website that didn’t seem to lead anywhere, despite appearing to go to the Ontario Provincial Police’s Amber Alert homepage for news about active missing children cases.
I think it’s crashed due to traffic on site, which should not happen. Not everyone is going to go looking for the rest of the information. This girls life is in danger, they’ve known she’s been missing for at least 6 hours and can’t include even a brief description in the alert?
— Liannabelle FYMM (@Liannabelle88) August 2, 2022
The Stratford Police Service did include a photo and description, as well as more specific details of where the girl was last seen, on their social media, leading the public to wonder why this information couldn’t have been included in the alert itself.
when you issue a useless amber alert do you know what happens? people turn off the function. DESCRIBE THE VICTIM
— Hexi Hamaski (@Hexidimentional) August 3, 2022
There were also some calling out the system for being too late, sending out the message hours after the child had gone missing.
It’s so slow… She’s already been missing for hours.
— Derek (@gringlegriff) August 2, 2022
While there appeared to be more grumbles about anyone who takes issue with an Amber Alert than complaints about the alert itself — which can help locate and save the life of a minor — there were a fair number of people saying that if the alerts aren’t more descriptive and useful, people will start to whine about them and even ignore them.
WOW… i am shocked,disappointed and embarrassed for you. If you think ANY amber alert is “needless” i have to PRAY to the good lord you are not a parent. There will never be a day an amber alert for a missing child ( no matter the reason) will ever be a burden on myself or family
— shannonjohnson (@shannon72461744) August 3, 2022
Most talking about the alert on social media were wishing the best for the girl and expressing gratefulness for the service.
I appreciate that you use this service to the best of your ability as soon as you can. Too often people don’t realise how quickly someone can be removed from their home area and taken to places unknown. We are fortunate to live in a country where this service is available. Tyvm
— Hauckston4 (@hauckston4) August 3, 2022
…especially because in this case, the pre-teen was found safe and sound by authorities shortly after it went out.